DIXON (WIFR) -- Workers at one plant in Dixon remain on strike after contract talks on Friday did not bring about a new labor agreement.
Dozens of men and women are walking the picket line at Bay Valley foods in Dixon; they walked out late Thursday night. The 112 union employees at the plant have been working without a contract since the end of 2013. They say negotiations began in December without any results. Workers are concerned about changes to their health care plans/ Union members argue, if their health insurance carrier isn't going to raise premiums, workers shouldn't have to pay more for those benefits. Dave Cooper has been with the business for 18 years, he's nervous that the company could opt out of his pension and cut his benefits in half.
"A good majority of us have 20 plus years, we’re getting to the age where we don't have a lot of time left to start a new pension. We rely on those pensions for our livelihood, for our retirement,” says Dave Cooper.
“All we want is a fair living, a working agreement with the company and I’m sure they do to," says Steve Mealer.
In a statement, the company called the union's decision to strike surprising and disappointing, and the company pledged to work through remaining issues to get employees back to work. The plant will continue operations during the strike.
The facility in Dixon makes cheese and puddings. There are a total of 18 Bay Valley Foods plants across the country including one in Pecatonica.